It probably hasn't escaped the attention of readers that my politics are a little left of center - with the typical meanings of "left" and "center" in current US politics. This "leftiness" is greater on some issues (environment, social issues, civil rights), and much less so on others (education, wealth redistribution). I have at various points been registered either Democrat or Independent.
So far, on the blog I have been pretty careful to avoid outright partisanship. Partly this is a matter of personality: it comes more naturally to me to play the disinterested analyst role than the role of an activist and partisan. At the same time, it's impossible not to notice that for the issues I most care about - climate, energy, environment, and future of society - the Democratic party (while far from perfect) is currently a lot better than the Republican party. This is so overwhelmingly true at present that I don't feel a need to make an argument in detail: it's become so extreme that Republican politicians almost uniformly have to be delusional on climate change (or at least pretend to be). Thus I've struggled with whether I'm being too coy in not taking an explicitly partisan position: actively urging readers to political action, or endorsing Democratic candidates, for example.
For now, at least, I have decided not to do that. My reasoning is as follows: I think in the deepest part of its soul, what the Republican party is about is protecting the interests of the most economically successful members of society: hence the focus on lightening their taxation burden, reducing regulations that might impede their enterprises, promoting their right to pass their wealth to their children, etc. I don't lack all sympathy for this agenda: I think the most economically successful people are particularly important to society at large and it is possible for a society to go too far in the direction of impeding them (though that is not my diagnosis of the main problem for the US in 2012).
And I note that climate change, drought, running low on energy or food (with the resulting instability, riots, etc) are not in the long-term interests of the wealthy either. Wealth is a social construct that is entirely dependent on a reasonable degree of political and economic stability. During times of disorder, the wealthy are at risk of losing everything they have gained, ranging from those families that lost the family fortune in the Great Depression - or the 90% marginal tax rates and high estate taxes that followed - to the extremes of the French Revolution when much of the elite were slaughtered in a genocidal frenzy. I'm not aware of a single Roman Villa that evolved smoothly into a medieval manor.
So, if we are to have any hope of some kind of fairly orderly transition into a carbon-neutral sustainable society, at some point our millionaires and billionaires have to come to their senses and recognize that destabilizing key planetary systems on which we all depend is not going to do them and their children the slightest bit of good. In fact, we need talented green entrepreneurs and investors to be brilliant and wildly successful perhaps more than we need any other single thing.
And so I want this blog to be a hospitable environment for successful individuals who can be persuaded that these problems are important and should be worked on. And, at least for the time being, I think that is best served by continuing to avoid explicit partisanship.